Interview with Ron Jarzombek
by Thiago Sarkis

1. Many years after Ink Complete and finally release an album with the Spastic Ink name. Do you feel like having a baby?

No, that would have been 9 months. This was like if I was a whale or a rhino or something. But if I was a human chick I could have had 5 kids. And I'm not a big fan of kids. I put up with them all day at music stores. My wife has a few cats and that's enough little creatures running around to take care of. But yeah, it was a big pain in the ass putting this CD together. If you ask am I happy with how the record turned out, I'd say MOST DEFINITELY! YOU BET YOUR BOOTIES! But would I do it all over again? Hell no! I spent so much time and energy trying to make contacts, preparing music sheets for players, sending out CD-Rs, then having them bail on me, some at the very last minute. It was a challenge trying to pull it together, but I guess usually, things worthwhile take time. But I did make quite a few friends in the process, and that's a great thing.

2. You have a lot of special guests playing on the album. How do you see the results in the performances? Did they reach your objectives? Did you accomplish some special dream playing with those guys?

Daniel (Gildenlow) is the epitome of a professional. He totally cooperated and made time for me in the middle of other projects that he was working on. He did so many layered vocal tracks, and mixed everything how he wanted it. I really hope he's happy with the final mix. He obviously spent some serious time working on the track.

Marty (Friedman) was Marty. He told me when he had time to work on the solos, then did exactly what he said he was going to do. No crap, just got the job done. It is so cool being able to say that I'm on a CD trading solos with Marty Friedman. What more could you ask for?? Playing live onstage with Marty?? Yep, that was even better!!

Jens (Johansson) was so cooperative and cool. I sent him an mp3 attached email with the rhythmic tracks to solo over and he got back with me with 2 wild keyboard solos via email attachments. Done, just like that. I met him in Austin years ago when Yngwie was recording in Studio D. He came by a WatchTower rehearsal with his brother Anders and they played some Zappa (Black Page) and UK (Presto Vivace) stuff for us. He was playing the lead melodies with his right hand and the bass parts with his left. We were tripping out. Just an amazing player.

Jimmy (Pitts) and I talked about his solo on the phone a few times and he sent me several different takes and I picked out what I thought fit best. I don't know what crazy scales he threw in but it complemented the whole solos section on "Multi-Masking" so well.

David Bagsby does the most amazing Zappa synth solo on "Nerds". I actually got goosebumps when I first heard it. That rarely happens. I remember picking up the CD-R from the post office and driving home while listening to the solo, just shaking my head and smiling from ear to ear. Wow. It was perfect! Even after hearing it hundreds of times, it still puts a smile on my face.

Doug (Keyser) came down to SA from Austin and belted out his tracks in two sessions. Of course he was used to the varying time signatures and wild rhythmic patterns because he's been playing with Rick Colaluca (Tower drummer) almost his whole life. What I like most about Doug is his attack. He just plays with fire...

Michael Manring and Ray Riendeau were quick and to the point. They both got me their recorded track within 10 days. Michael came up with a beautiful fretless bass solo that worked perfectly with the song. Ray nailed all of the timing patterns and finished the track before I could call him up and talk about the parts!

Dave Penna knocked out all of the abrupt tempo changes in "Nerds" without a hitch. I put his tracks up against the drum programmed tracks and it was mind blowing how in sync it was.

Probably the guest who knocked me out the most was Jeff Eber. The drum tracks for ACRONYM had been holding me up for months. I could not find anybody to play this stuff. Actually, this is what made me give up on "Ink Compatible" and start writing and recording "Solitarily Speaking...". Greg Hill, an email buddy of mine, suggested Jeff and I met him up in Austin at a Dysrhythmia show. I gave him 52 sheets of music with hellish rhythmic patterns, scattered septuplets, quintuplets, and difficult timing divisions and he comes back a month or two later with the finished track. And this kid was 22. Wow!!

3. So do you wish that Bobby and Pete could have done the whole CD?

Actually, yeah, that's what I had hoped, but it just didn't happen. Bobby recorded the first 4 songs that were written (Aquanet, Little Bit, Multi-Masking, and Melissa's Friend), then he was gone for a year and a half touring with Halford. Actually, I think when I first started writing the CD, Bobby was still in Riot! But anyways, I didn't want to just sit on the other tunes, so I began searching for another drummer. Here's where the nightmare began. I was going from drummer to drummer, and it was so aggravating. But then I got an email from Steve Booke and he suggested that his friend David Penna could do the job. Finally, I found somebody that could play the tunes. Months later, Bobby came around and recorded two more songs (Memory and Mouse), but then he had to take off again. Almost a year past, then I got an email from Greg Hill who suggested that I get Jeff Eber, Dysrhythmia's drummer, for that last song. When the drums tracks were finally done, I came to the realization that the CD could be completed within a reasonable time. Just a few more vocal tracks, some gtr solos, and two bass tracks. One player that I really wish could have been on the CD was Steve DiGiorgio. He was one of the first bassists that I was talking to, but our schedules just weren't working out. I felt really bad because he had been working on a few tunes for a while but never got to record them. I had received bass tracks from another player and it was miles away from what the song needed, so I got back in touch with Pete and tried to get our schedules together once again. I think Pete had recorded two Riot CDs during the time that I spent putting "Ink Compatible" together. Bobby probably did 4 Halford CDs.

4. You're bringing vocals to this new album. Was this something planned and natural, or does it has also a commercial side looking forward to a wider public?

Well, I could have written a CD based on computers with just the titles trying to convey my thoughts on the various computer related subjects that I wanted to cover, but using lyrics just seemed to make a lot more sense. I could pretty much get as in-depth as I wanted with words.You've got to remember that when I first started writing Ink Compatible, I was a total computer nut. The Ink web page was launched, and my whole life was revolving around my computer. I was writing music on computer, organizing students, doing graphics, communicating with fans worldwide, etc. And so to just use computer titles for songs seemed too vague and nondescript. A whole CD could be written about the internet alone, there are too many ACRONYMS, too much to discuss about viruses, too many computer peripherals, etc... Music is a very powerful thing, but sometimes there needs to be a bit more to get the message across. There are 2 instrumental tracks on the CD, and even those have animated videos telling the complete story. And yes, it did occur to me that I might be able to reach more people with vocals. But there are some people that would rather hear instrumentals. And with a progressive band, usually the first person to get cut down is the vocalist, so it's hard to please everybody. Having vocals was definitely not the easy way out, I just find that it's best to do what I want. Even with my solo CD "SSoTC", it's all instrumental, but to totally inform the listener of what's going on, I have the liners filled with technical info decribing each song. Without the liner notes on SSoTC, you're severely short-changed.

5. One of the things that most call attention to "Ink Compatible" is the participation of Daniel Gildenl÷w from Pain Of Salvation? How did you get in contact with him and with his music?

I wanted to get Daniel on the CD because he is easily one of the most dramatic vocalists out there. And the fact that he is driving force behind Pain Of Salvation surely didn't hurt. Spastic Ink is known for being rather mechanical or mathematical so I thought having dramatic vocals would be a very interesting mix. Sure enough, it worked out unbelievably well. Daniel took the melodies that I wrote and added lots of emotion and did tons of layering. I could not be any happier with the job that he did. I got in touch with him through their POS website. He was very cool right from the start.

6. The album also features Jason McMaster from WatchTower. How did came the idea of working with him in Spastic Ink? Don't you think that maybe some people can start to not differentiate Spastic Ink and WatchTower?

When I wanted to add vocals to Ink for the next CD, Jason was my first choice, but I did have reservations because of the Tower connection. And then to make matters worse (or better, actually) Doug (Tower bassist) ended up playing on two "Ink Compatible" songs. So there's 3/4 of WatchTower right there. I knew that I'd be doing interviews after the CD was done and people would be asking me "So what's the difference between WatchTower and Spastic Ink with all of these same players??" LOL. It's like Mike Portnoy trying to do his own thing with Liquid Tension Experiment, then Petrucci's in, making it half of Dream Theater. Then Jordan is in both bands, so now it's almost full circle. But you know what? Those are two killer bands with killer CDs, so does it even matter?? Musically, I don't think it's difficult at all to tell Spastic Ink from WatchTower, especially in the writing. Ink is far more complicated, controlled and organized, which to some people is a good thing, to others it might be bad. Tower is pretty much take a basic tune, and throw in whatever you want. But back to Jason.... He doesn't sound like he did back in the Energetic Disassembly days. That was recorded in '85. At that time, he sounded like a rabid Geddy Lee. Most Tower fans (especially overseas) know of Alan Tecchio as WatchTower's singer because he was on "Control And Resistance", and that CD sold far more copies than Tower's first CD "Energetic Disassembly, which Jason was on. Even though for me, Jason is the voice of WatchTower, even on the Control songs. He always was, and always will be. But if it is difficult to tell the difference between Ink and Tower because of the same singer, that's OK. All I know is that Jason did one hell of a job on Ink Compatible.

7. Could you do a preview of Ink Compatible album, commenting it track by track?

Aquanet - This one is about the internet. It starts off with a modem dialing in, then we play it right after with notes. You could sync them up and they would match up perfectly, but they are consecutive on the CD. I titled the song "Aquanet" because most of the riffs are based on the "blues" scale. That's where the "aqua", comes from. We also butcher up some cliche blues licks. Great stuff. And of course the "net" is for the internet. Aquanet is an old brand of hairspray here in the United States. I figured that since we had a song title taken from baking soda on "Ink Complete" (Harm And Half-Time Baking Shuffle), why not have hairspray on this CD?? Jens Johansson does a mad keyboard solo on this song, and Bobby goes nuts at the very end. The verse of this song is probably the first tune that I wrote for this CD.

Just A Little Bit - The only Spastic Ink song to feature cookie monster vocals. Why did I put them on there? Because they fit great!! Honestly! At first I was just kidding around with Jason and his enginner Bill Dawson, but we went for it and I was shocked. I loved it!! This is a continuance of "Just A Little Dirty" from "Ink Complete". Same tuning, same tempo. If this is ever played live, the songs will be back to back. I can't wait for fans to try to figure out what the lyrics are about.

Words For Nerds - I think this song has the most abrupt, intentional tempo changes of any song ever written. Probably something like 50 times, and the song is just over 5 minutes. I got some great peformances out of David Bagsy, who turned in one brilliant Zappa influence synth solo. Michael Manring plays a very melodic, beautiful fretless solo. I got a few friends to do some character voices. Dave Penna makes the wacky time signatures and tempo changes flow with ease. This is the song that I was most concerned with if it would actually work.

Melissa's Friend - This is Daniel Gildenlow in top form, and at his best, I think. Tons of harmonies and layers. Lyrically, every line in this song has the name of a computer virus. Yes, that was a pain working that out. My friend Bill Stalcup from one of the music stores that I teach at does the intro and outro voice. My favorite part of the song is toward the end where we play the song's 3 main themes all at once. There are measures of 4, 5 and 7 happening simultaneously, and then the whole thing comes around.

Read Me - I don't even want to think about how much time I spent making the videos for this song. Scribble was pure torture. I was desperately trying to get into writing music for multimedia and I couldn't find anybody out there who was hiring. So I bought a program called Micrografx Simply 3D and started making up my own animated flicks. The timing on the Scribble video, with the letters hitting the Scrabble board at the exact time, took months to get right. The 1s and 0s flying around on "Double Spaced" are timed out exactly to the gtr/piano melody. That was so messy writing the melody to following the exact ascending and descending paths of the 1s and 0s. The "Taking Notes" video isn't so detailed, so that was rather easy. And I gave up on trying to make up a vid for "The Mad Dash".

Multi-Masking - This one came in a close 2nd for being track 1 on the CD. A really interesting backwards masking voice starts off the song. The main theme is in 11/16, and it totally grooves, thanks to my big brother. We feature lots of gtr/hi-hat and bass/toms trade offs again, as we had started on "Ink Complete". This is my favorite song lyrically, and maybe musically. Check out the solos sections on the song, all complement each other VERY well. Sometimes things work out EXACTLY as you had hoped...

In Memory Of... - Just about every CD has to have a slow, melodic song. Well, this is it. We set the mood of someone seemingly lost, who can't find himself. It was the perfect excuse to use the whole scale once again. The chorus does some really cool ascending modulations then ends up right back where it started. Jason does an unbelievable job on this song. He took my suggested vocal melody lines and made them his own. Nice harmonies too...

A Chaotic Realization Of Nothing Yet Misunderstood - I can't wait for Ink fans to try to make sense of these lyrics. Musically, this song covers just about everything I could think of throwing in. Jeff Eber (drummer) had such a short time to learn and record this song, and he came through for me big time. Doug gave the bass part the aggression that it needed. Jason rips his throat up on the last verse. And my wife actually does the scary whisper voice break.

The Cereal Mouse - I was looking for months for an animated film to write Ink music for and I came across a section in Charlotte's Web. For it to fit in with the "Ink Compatible" concept, it had to have a computer related title. Well, this cartoon is about a "mouse"! And since he's eating up all this food, I just spelled "serial mouse" as "Cereal Mouse". This was very difficult to sync the music to the video, but it turned out great. It's at www.spasticink.com/videos.html. If you want to check out more Ink music put to animated videos, there's "A Wild Hare", which is a track from the first Ink CD "Ink Complete".

8. After so many years waiting, the expectation around this album is maybe bigger than you think. Don't you have fear of this big expectation can bring also some frustrations?

The biggest frustration for me has already passed. It took over 4 years to put this CD together. It came out different than what I had originally had in mind, but am I happy with the final result? Yep, you bet. More so than you could imagine. But would I do it all over again if I had known what problems I'd run into, no way. This is the last time that I'll write a full cd for a band, without having a band intact. Now if Bobby calls me one day and suggests that we do another Ink CD, and he's got quite a few months of time open for writing and recording, then I'm there.

9. Well, let's talk a bit about your solo career. You recorded two albums and both are very good. On the first one PHHHP!, why did you put the CD together? Did you have fans asking for a solo CD, or did you just make it? How was the response? Did you expect it? You even changed the front cover of PHHHP!...

I changed all of the graphics on PHHHP! because distributors were asking to carry the CD(-R) in their music stores. I thought it would be very cheesy to have black and white graphics printed on gray paper. If people were paying the regular CD price for PHHHP!, then it needs to look like a real CD. I never got real CDs made for PHHHP! because I didn't think it would sell that much. I should have done that years ago, I'd be on my 2nd batch right now. I "officially" released the songs because too many Ink and Tower fans had heard of various Ron Jarzombek songs floating around on the net, and wanted to know what they were, and wanted copies. So I put all of the old finished 4 track solo songs together and made a CD.

10. Your second solo album is something from another planet (maybe a Zappian planet?) How was the composition process for this album?

I started writing the CD when I ran into a wall trying to pull "Ink Compatible" together. I really wanted to get a recording done and WatchTower wasn't moving at all, so I figured that I could write everything myself, and record it totally alone. I knew I could pull it off, so that what I did. I've always been into music theory and various different ways of composing tunes, and I thought that it would be a really cool concept, using Morse code, the chromatic alphabet, various patterned formulas, etc... And I could not be any happier with the final result of the CD. It's exactly what I wanted. The whole process of writing and recording took a bit over a year. That's quite a bit of time, but you have to figure in teaching 5 days a week, and gigging between 3 and 5 times a week.

11. I must congratulate you because I never believed that an album of 45 minutes, only instrumental and complex instrumental would not really irritate my mind and don't get me bothered. How did you accomplish this perfect way for this album where you have 45 tracks and they sound just like one? Did you choose the order of the tracks thinking about this?

The arrangement of the CD came together after I had about 2/3 of the material written. I had to keep track of how many minutes I was working with because when you write something with so many sections pieced together, it's easy to lose track of where you're at, and where you'll end up. After I had written about 25 minutes of material, I spent two or three days just arranging the parts, and got a good idea of what songs would have solos, where the slow pretty sections were, where the aggressive stuff would be, etc... and tried to balance everything out evenly. I would make CD-Rs of all of the tunes that I had and would try to put the songs in a flowing order. I was going for 50-55 minutes and after editing and adding a few things, I ended up at 45 minutes. A year after releasing the CD, there are a few songs that I think should have been extended a bit, namely Sick, Dirty, Sick.

12. Maybe this is a raw question, but I really need to do it. You said once that you didn't like when people mailed you calling you a genious and things like that. But in this music style, composing these kind of songs, don't you think that maybe this is the only way to classify you? Don't you really want to be called a genious? I mean, your fans will listen to your music with attention. It's not easy listenin', you're not dancing, you're not hot, at least for me.

Am I a genius??, Hardly!! Although I do think I'm rather creative. And to be honest, I don't know how I'd top that CD. I'm not praising or knocking myself, it's just the way it is. I play my ass off on that CD, I wrote every note, and programmed and played everything, with no assistance from anybody on anything. However, I totally understand that the CD isn't for everybody, but it's exactly where I'm at. If someone just hates the CD, that's totally understandable. Of course I think it's the greatest thing on earth (LOL), but hey, not everybody has my opinions or thinks like I do. I'm sure some people put the CD on and shut it off after the first m2 cluster hit on track 2. They probably wouldn't cut it off during track 1 because they'd have to be pretty quick, since the whole song is a 7 second fade in.

About me not being "hot". Well, my wife thinks I'm pretty hot, but she hates that solo CD! Go figure that one out!

13. You did a very recent tour with Marty Friedman. How did came this opportunity and how was it for you? What did you play? How was the response from the crowd?

I had just completed SSoTC and I was sending out promos all over the place, and my manager suggested that I send a copy to Marty. I really didn't know what could come of it, but I played along and just sent him one. I told Marty that if he ever needed a 2nd guitarist for anything that he was working on, to give me a shot. Well, it turned out that I got an email a few months later, and I guess he liked the CD because he asked me how long would it take for me to learn about 45 minutes of his solo material. I learned about 4 or 5 of his tunes, recorded what would be the 2nd guitar parts (rhythms under main melodies, lots of higher harmonies, etc...) and sent him mp3s of me playing along to his tunes. I guess that made a good impression because from then on, it seemed like it was my gig to lose. After a few weeks, Marty gets the tour details worked out and I get the gig, but it's just several shows, not really a "tour". Actually, not even a leg, more like a foot (LOL). We did the shows in California and Arizona and they went very well. But by the time we were all on the same page musically, it was over. They were thinking of doing the Guitarevolution tour (with Marty, Chris Poland's Ohm, and Alex Skolnick) again this January, but it didn't happen. I'm not sure why. We will be doing another show in Baltimore in a few months. I know very little details, but it will be the same line up of Marty, me, Jimmy DeGrasso and Chris Catero. About Marty's career with Megadeth, what can you say. He did it all. I heard some really cool, funny and informative stories while hanging out with Marty. I have both Cacophany CDs with him and Jason Becker, and again, what can you say? Hardly anybody can touch that stuff. I was hoping that some band or project would happen with me, Marty and my brother, but after the mini-tour, that was pretty much the end of it. Marty's got so many things going on in Japan right now. I did get him to do a solo on "Ink Compatible". Nothing cooler than doing trade-offs with Marty.

14. During this time without Spastic Ink releases, you also played in a cover band. How it was? Did the people recognize you being the guy from WatchTower, Spastic Ink?

I'm still playing with a cover band called Dragonfly here in San Antonio. We cover bands like Tool, Pantera, Metallica, Alice In Chains, STP, etc... I dropped off for a few months to do the Marty gigs, and get "Ink Compatible" ready to release, but I rejoined them a few weeks ago. And yep, sometimes there are people that recognize me from Tower, Ink, and my first band S.A. Slayer. It's pretty cool but they realize that it's just covers and they won't hear their favorite progressive tunes. There are a few of the cover songs that I don't care to play, but overall, it's not a bad gig. It's a good way to stay active and keep your chops up. Plus, around here I'd rather be known as a guitar player rather than a guitar teacher, that's for sure. And that's what I get when people see me out playing. Even when Tower was gigging regularly in Texas, we rarely did more than one show a month. With Dragonfly, I play a minimum of 3 times a week.

15. How would you imagine a Spastic Ink show? Do you have plans of going on tour in the support of Ink Compatible?

We've been talking about gigging for the past few months. Mostly about what it would take to pull it off. When I wrote the songs for "Ink Compatible", I didn't think about playing them live because it was so far from that. I was just trying to get the recordings done. But now that the CD is right around the corner, we are already getting asked to play out. The main concern for me is trying to cover lots of layered guitars, and the different tunings. To pull off the different tunings, I am building a guitar which will have two necks. The top neck will be tuned normal E A D G B E, and the bottom neck will not have a whammy bar, so I can tune it however I want. I used something like 5 different tunings on the CD and so to pull it off live, I'd need two guitars, sometimes on the same song. I'm videotaping the designing and building of this doubleneck guitar and will have some vids up on the Ink web page very shortly. And it's a good thing that this CD has vocals so I wouldn't have to talk in between songs. Jason's great at that stuff so he can do it. I'll just stick to playing, hopping around and acting stupid. Maybe I'd say a few words. I haven't done that in ages.

16. I did talk with Greg Howe last week, and you know... he was with 'N Sync and Justin Timberlake on tour and at the same time he just released an album with Victor Wooten on bass and Dennis Chambers on drums. We did talk about how hard is for a guitarist following this instrumental direction to make a life, pay the bills, etc. With those side projects and Spastic Ink, do you receive enough money to pay your bills? How is that for you? Would you accept playing for 'N Sync or a band like that like Greg did?

Money is not much of a problem these days. If I relied on Spastic Ink to keep me afloat financially, I'd have to move back home. Right now I'm supporting myself just fine with the cover band, teaching, and CD sales. I have very little to complain about. Of course I wish I could support myself writing and playing the music that I want, but being progressive in this day just doesn't work out for too many people. I'm always baffled by Dream Theater and what they've managed to accomplish over the last decade. It's truly amazing that those guys are doing so well by writing and recording their music. But honestly, I'd rather be doing exactly what I'm doing right now than give in to nu-metal bullshit. For some musicians, it's tollerable, and for some like myself, we can't stand it. As for your question, if Britney Spears called me up and asked me to play for a tour, believe it or not, I'd do it. But if Fred Durst called me, hell no. I don't have much against pop, country, or any other form of music that has melodies and people are really musicians. Well, Britney can't sing but does that really matter!?? LOL...

17. In past interview, you and I talked about the nu-metal, rap metal, etc. Years after,the scene looks a bit different, don't you think? Do you still have the same feelings about the style? Many legendary artists like Tommy Aldridge, Chuck Wright, Scott Ian, Vinny Appice put bands like Linkin Park and Evanescence between their Top 3 of 2003. How do you see this? Are they going mad or what? (Give your thoughts on nu-metal, those bands, Evanescence, Linkin Park, etc.)

Well, I'd have to put Linkin' Park #3 on my list too if the other choices were 50 cent, Eminem, Snoop Dog, and Master P. #1 and #2 would probably be Foo Fighters and Pantera. Maybe System Of A Down. I wonder what other 2003 releases those guys have picked up. I mean, what else is out there? Linkin Park is a formulated corporarate rock band that probably has so little to say in their music. That rapper guy that they have bugs the crap out of me.

Scott Ian has been into rap from the very beginning. They had an MTV video out with Public Enemy decades ago. Mike Portnoy also is (or used to be) into hard core rap. I guess it's a New York thing. Dream Theater has some rapping on their latest CD. Actually, it ruins track #4 for me. I have a hard time listening to it. That song has a really cool intro tune then that megaphone comes in. Yuk! Fast forward please...

18. What news can you bring for us from the WatchTower camp? Any details about the reunion, the next album, how is being the contact between the members, offers from labels, etc?...

This is a subject that I don't care to elaborate much on. We've had the music written for a whole album, and we will be doing a few upcoming shows. In April, we'll be playing a festival in Holland called the Headway. A few other European gigs were possibly going to be booked around that same time, but unorganized travel arrangements, equipment issues, and other complications kept popping up, so we just decided to play the festival and that's it. Then about a month after that, we have a show here in San Antonio.

19. I'll write some quotes and the name of the author of them and I'd like you to do comments on the quotes and the facts here exposed...

- "Limp Bizkit sucks cocks" - Zakk Wylde

I couldn't agree more. It's a good thing that more people are finally figuring that out.

- "How many people did USA killed in the last 20 years?" Daniel Gildenl÷w on the the WAR when USA decide to attack Iraq

I'd like to have strong opinion on the war (and I probably should), but the truth is that I don't know enough about the situation, what is actually going on, what is being done, what the real purpose was, etc... We only know what CNN tells us. But I, like most of us in the US, would really would like to know where are the supposed "WMD". Isn't that the main reason that we're over there? And now they're trying to justify what they've done to the country. What a pitiful mess. Every day when I log onto the net, I see headlines of how many more people are being killed over there. On the other hand, I'll have to admit that it was damn cool when CNN showed those American tanks parked in Saddam's front yard of his palace. I mean, he's no pope or Santa Claus with all good intentions. And then that stupid information minister comes on and denies everthing. Next thing you know there's Marines in Saddam's living room smoking cigars. Classic stuff. But what was Bush thinking that Saddam would do?? Come into our country and destroy our government, cut off our electricity and water for months, and kill thousand of our citizens???

- "Whatever money they are generating from their site is dirty money. It's being taken out of the hands of the artist and the record labels and put into the hands of another corporation." Lars Ulrich from Metallica on Napster and mp3.

Yep, I'm with Lars on this one. Just look at the mess that's been created. The cat is out of the bag and they're having a hard time getting him back in. Now they're making money by charging a fee and trying to somehow (or hopefully) compensate the bands. I think a better and simpler solution would be to lower the prices for CDs. For me, a big part of any CD purchase is the graphics, and you don't get any of that with an mp3. There's info about the band members, liner notes, production credits, etc... Of course the audio is the most important, but even then you're only getting an mp3, not a high quality recording that appears on the real CD.

20. Ron, I hope you all the success with Spastic Ink's new album and all other projects you're involved with! Leave a message for your fans...

Don't buy any rap albums, get the new Ink CD instead... It will be out in the US and Europe on March 23, and in Japan (on Marquee/Avalon) on April 21.

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